Third-quarter earnings fell by $156 million (m) from $715m to $559m year-on-year, while nine-month earnings dropped 7% from $2.58bn to $2.4bn.
The firm confirmed that these earnings included a net charge of $161m, related to the recently enacted US Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and said without this charge, they would have exceeded last year’s third-quarter and first nine month results.
“Our steady results from operations demonstrate that our strategic direction is the right one,” said Cargill chairman David MacLennan. “The performance of our team worldwide keeps Cargill moving ahead, preparing us to continue to grow.”
Net earnings for the quarter on a US GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) basis also decreased by $155m from $650m to $495m compared to the previous year. The firm also blamed the US tax cuts for its nine-month net earnings, stating that its $2.39bn figure equalled with last year’s $2.49bn and that, without the legislation, they would have again beaten the nine-month figure for the previous period.
However, the firm revealed that its third-quarter net revenues had risen by 2%.
To combat what it described as an “extended period of sluggish agricultural commodity markets”, Cargill said it was looking for ways to transform and differentiate the business.
MacLennan pointed to the company’s integrated approach to global operations, as well as its ongoing appraisal and enhancement of assets along supply chains, and its investment in new capabilities and technologies.
“In a time of continually changing expectations, we are setting ourselves apart in order to help our customers succeed,” MacLennan added.
Cargill’s new Controlled Atmospheric Stunning system, at its chicken processing facility in Ontario, Canada, is in line with the firm’s strategy of investing in new technologies, it said.